2016 PSAL 'City' Championship Preview

Boys Preview - Click Here

Girls Preview - Click Here

The NYC public schools will be leading off the action at Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday morning as they assemble for a run at the PSAL championship. Last year's boys' champion Stuyvesant and girls' champion Brooklyn Tech are back as two of the favorites in very competitive races. Each year the PSAL has been pushing the overall running level up another notch, and this year promises to be hot and wild. The boys and girls will both be holding separate Championship and Individual races, the second of which is for runners on teams that did not qualify for the main contest.

The PSAL is notoriously fickle about its kings and queens, seeming to want a new one every year. The boys have had five different teams win the last five championships, and the girls have had six different winners in seven years, with only McKee Tech getting to hold onto the throne for two straight years, repeating in 2013 after taking the 2012 title.

For the boys, reigning champ Stuyvesant has been pegged into the top spot in the ratings for PSAL teams all year, but in the Borough championships two weeks ago it was McKee Tech that had the strongest results, though the Sea Gulls were running in a much more competitive Staten Island race than Stuyvesant's Manhattan group. Throw in the usual suspects from Brooklyn, BTech and Midwood, and you have four teams with very similar speed ratings in the 147-150 TR area going into Saturday and all with an almost equal chance to win if all of the standard top 5 are present and healthy. A second pack of teams running a little further back in the lower 140 TR region include Tottenville, Susan Wagner, Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy, and Bronx Science, so there are a lot teams joining the fray here.

There's a little less depth on the girls' side of the PSAL, but there are five teams at the top who could make this contest interesting. Benjamin Cardozo won the title in 2014 but finished 42 points in back of Brooklyn Tech in 2015. This year the Judges have restocked their ranks and have a substantial ratings point gap over the rest of the teams with a squad that includes four of the top 8 rated runners. If Cardozo runs to its usual form with Sophia Muccini, Abigail Perez, Liliana Cohen, and Shalah Means at the front, probably only one team has a good shot at challenging it, and that team is the reigning champs BTech, though the Engineers will need a big surge at the back to put some distance between themselves and Cardozo's fifth runner. Other teams in the hunt are McKee Tech, Stuyvesant, and Susan Wagner, but its a big question is whether any of the three have the depth at the back to overcome Cardozo.

  • So we have on the boys side: Stuyvesant vs. Mckee Tech vs. Brooklyn Tech vs. Midwood
  • On the girls' side: Benjamin Cardozo vs. Brooklyn Tech vs. McKee Tech vs. Stuyvesant vs. Susan Wagner

And since we didn't get to put out a preview for NYC's AIS independent schools for their championship on Marathon Sunday, a big shout out to the Trinity guys for an effort that pushed them just past Collegiate to end the Dutchmen's 19 year AIS winning streak, and to Poly Prep girls for a rebuilding job that carried them by favored Convent of the Sacred Heart and reigning champ Hackley. The winning margin was 5 points on the guys' side and 3 points on the girls' side.

Hot action on a cool Saturday at VCP. Get out for the PSAL and then the CHSAA races there if you are in town.